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Nutrition was not always a topic of so much interest as it is nowadays. Before the food industry began to manipulate the foods we eat, people ate whole foods from the ground or animals slaughtered freshly. Today, we find ourselves deficient in basic vitamins and minerals. So the new focus on nutrition is, in part, to understand why.

The most important part of most foods you buy in the grocery store, is the label on the back. Taking the time to read the nutritional values on the packages before you buy, helps toinsure that you are making the right choice for yourself and the ones you love.

When it comes to nutrition, we all seem to have trouble doing it properly. Our problem areas vary though and sometimes, we need help identifying these problems. Look at your eating habits and decide which one you pick. Is it the salad or the cheeseburger? The soda or bottled water? The healthy choices are obvious and if you don’t pick them as often as you should, that may be your problem.

One decision regarding nutrition is whether or not to eat meat. A vegetarian diet has long been espoused in the East, less so in the West. There are voices which show the nutritional deficiencies of a diet without meat. There are vegetarian advocates who show ways to make up these deficiencies–without eating meat. Consider both and decide for yourself!

Have a doctor check your blood for levels of various minerals and vitamins in your blood stream. Ask for a complete check. That way, if you find you are deficient in any one thing, or a few things, you can immediately start taking steps to change your diet so you stay well and healthy.

Write down and collect healthy recipes. Cook books are expensive and seldom have much useful information. Make your own instead. Buy a pack of index cards and use them to copy down any healthy recipes you try and enjoy. Replace all those high calorie, unhealthy recipes you had been saving with the new ones.

Use extra virgin olive oil in your cooking. Unlike hydrogenated oils that can clog arteries, extra virgin olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats that can protect you from heart disease. It can reduce the level of bad cholesterol and raise the level of good cholesterol. It also plays a role in the prevention of colon cancer.

A great way to live a healthier lifestyle is to moderate the amount of processed foods you consume. Processed foods are high in refined sugars that are terrible for your body. As with all things, processed foods are fine in moderation. However, you want to make sure that most of your food intake is from natural sources.

Make your own fruit smoothies. Smoothie products you can buy in the store or at a stand, can be full of calories. If you make your own, you control how nutritious it is. Plus, it is easier to fit into your eating plan. Use ingredients like skim milk, Greek yogurt, bananas, frozen or fresh fruit and ice, to make a healthy, low calorie smoothie.

To help your body fight off common illnesses, such as the common cold and diarrhea, eat plenty of probiotics. Probiotics are a healthy, living bacteria that has been proven to fight off harmful illness causing bacteria. Examples of probiotics include yogurt, tempeh, and sauerkraut. Fermented teas like kombucha are also rich in probiotics.

When trying to add more nutrition to your diet, it is wise to consult your doctor. They can help to direct you to what your specific needs are. It is often very easy to switch to a more nutritious diet by cutting down on fat and sugar, while increasing fiber rich foods such as fruit and vegetables.

To ensure your thyroid gland functions properly, include plenty of iodine in your diet. Iodine is a component of multiple thyroid hormones, including triiodothyronine and thyroxine. Insufficient iodine levels leave your body unable to synthesize thyroid hormones, which means your metabolism cannot be regulated properly. Foods that contain iodine include kelp, eggs, and strawberries.

You should eat the right kind of carbohydrates, at the right time. Carbohydrates are generally categorized into two groups by using a scoring system on the glycemic index. They either end up with a high glycemic value or a low one. If a food is high on the glycemic index, these carbohydrates are known to diffuse quickly into the system evoking an insulin response; essentially, they provide you with a massive rush of sugar, easily processed and immediately used. Low glycemic foods are understandably, slow-released sugars that require more time to release their stored energy.

Feed your children well right from the start to avoid problems with diseases such as diabetes, and obesity. A good nutritional foundation can mean the difference between a healthy life and one that consists of constant medical care. Help your children avoid problems in the future with good nutrition now.

A good rule for better nutrition is: If you don’t know what it is or how it is pronounced, don’t eat it. The preservatives and additives in most processed food is by and large nothing but chemicals. Many of these things are unnatural to the body and will result in unnecessary waste in your system. Keep to simple ingredient lists that are easily read.

Nutrition is composed of a variety of items, but perhaps the most important three being carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Depending on an individual’s needs and fitness goals determines the balance of carbs, proteins and fats. Typically carbs are restricted to complex carbs, fats to healthy fats and proteins to lean protein sources.

Initially, the food industry was praised for using science to find a way to create inexpensive food and feed many more people than was possible before the innovations. But with the rise of deficiencies and disease, a new focus on nutrition has arisen, and people have begun to question how the science has undermined basic rules of nutrition.

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